Schumer firms up gun negotiation deadline, but talks may take longer
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday he would give negotiators until the end of the week to strike an agreement on gun violence-related legislation even as some senators say they’ll need more time than that.
Schumer said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) told him that he expects to come to an agreement with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) by the end of the week and that Schumer was “willing to give him that time.”
Schumer also left open the possibility of the talks taking longer.
“Sen. Murphy expects he can come to an agreement with Sen. Cornyn by the end of the week, and I expect to give him that time. If they don’t come to that agreement, we’ll see what happens after that,” Schumer said.
Some GOP senators had signaled earlier that talks could stretch into next week.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told The Hill on Tuesday that he’s “somewhat optimistic” about the progress senators have made so far but indicated negotiators will likely need more time.
“This is a week to kind of pound out the details, and we don’t need much, but we’ll probably need beyond Friday,” Graham said.
Cornyn, whom Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tapped to take part in negotiations, also called for “adequate time” for talks in remarks from the Senate floor.
“I don’t believe the Senate will be voting this week, because good consensus legislation takes time,” Cornyn said. “So I hope Sen. Schumer will let his members work. There’s no use in rushing a vote on a doomed partisan bill like the House is expected to vote on this week.”
Lawmakers have embarked on bipartisan negotiations in an attempt to come to some agreement on gun violence legislation in response to a elementary school shooting in Texas that killed 19 children and two teachers.
Senate Republicans and Democrats have expressed hope but also some caution about whether the group can come to a consensus on matters involving red flag laws, background checks and school security measures.
Alex Bolton contributed.